LIFE CLAYGLASS - Adaptation to climate change by the structural ceramics industry through the use of recycled glass as pastry

LIFE12 ENV/ES/000156

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Jorge VELASCO
Tel: 0034925241162
Fax: 34925230403
Email: jorge.velasco@aitemin.es

Project description:


The ceramics industry converts clay into hard pottery and ceramics through firing. Through a process of vitrification, clay is hardened, tightened and partially glassified at high temperatures. The strength of the fired clay comes from the melting and fusion of various components of the clay, which form crystalline bonds giving cohesion and solidity to the finished product. In the production of earthenware, temperatures as high as 1250°C are required.

However, clays vitrify at different temperatures depending upon their composition. For example, the use of recycled glass in the clay mix will reduce the firing temperature. Recycled glass of any kind and colour can be used. However, it is important to control the properties of the new clay mix because if it is heated too far past its vitrification temperature it can end up deforming or melting entirely.

A large amount of waste glass is generated in Europe each year, from various sectors of activity. Much progress has been made in recent decades in the collection and processing of glass for recycling. However, recycling options for glass from certain uses – including cathode ray tubes, vehicle windscreens and glass mixed with municipal solid waste – is still limited.


The LIFE CLAYGLASS project aims to reduce the environmental impact of the ceramics sector by demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of producing ceramic tiles using any type of recycled glass as a flux material. In doing so, the project hopes to reduce CO2 emissions from the firing process and provide a commercial use for waste glass streams that are otherwise difficult to recycle.

Specifically, the project will:

  • analyse and characterise types of glass and clay;
  • introduce a glass collection and transportation system – with storage and logistics arrangements adapted to the demand of the ceramics industries;
  • define optimal treatment of glass and clay as raw materials in the manufacture of stoneware products;
  • establish a pilot installation for glass treatment - milling - for the ceramics industry.
  • The addition of the recycled glass to the mix will reduce the demand for new raw materials from natural resources. It will also reduce the required firing temperature from around 1250°C to around 1110°C, which will provide associated reductions in energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

    The project expects to show that glass from difficult to recycle streams – such as end-of-use vehicles and WEEE glass – can be used as this flux material. This will turn this glass waste into a resource with a new commercial application. Economic benefits will arise from this use of a waste stream, as well as the reduced demand for raw materials and reduced energy consumption.

    Expected results: Demonstration of a new stoneware production using recycled glass, leading to:

  • the commercial use of difficult-to-recycle glass that is currently land-filled;
  • reduced demand for natural resources in clay tile production;
  • energy savings of 10-15%;
  • a reduction of about 2 000 t of CO2 emissions per year for a medium-size factory (brick production capacity of 300 t per day);
  • a reduction in the cost of producing clay tiles.



Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Non-metallic minerals
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in EU ETS sectors


emission reduction‚  greenhouse gas‚  raw material consumption‚  ceramics industry‚  alternative material

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Asociación para la Investigación y Desarrollo Industrial de los Recursos Naturales
Type of organisation Research institution
Description AITEMIN is a private, not-for-profit technology centre, with a specific interest in the extractive industries, construction and the environment, and particularly the exploitation and management of natural resources.
Partners Asociación para la Investigación y Desarrollo Industrial de los Recursos Naturales, Spain Aristotle University Thessaloniki-Special Account for Eesearch funds, Greece Ladrillos Mora S.L., Spain Reciclajes Pozo-Canada SL, Spain Asociación Reinicia, Spain


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/ES/000156
Duration 01-SEP-2013 to 01-DEC -2016
Total budget 1,977,222.00 €
EU contribution 988,611.00 €
Project location Madrid(España)


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Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version